The classic trap for any revolutionary is always, “What’s your alternative?” But even if you could provide the inter­rogator with a blueprint, this does not mean he would use it: in most cases he is not sincere in wanting to know. In fact this is a common offensive, a technique to deflect rev­olutionary anger and turn it against itself. Moreover, the oppressed have no job to convince all people. All they need know is that the present system is destroying them.

But though any specific direction must arise organically out of the revolutionary action itself, still I feel tempted here to make some “dangerously utopian” concrete pro­posals—both in sympathy for my own pre-radical days when the Not-Responsible-For-Blueprint Line perplexed me, and also because I am aware of the political dangers in the peculiar failure of imagination concerning alterna­tives to the family. There are, as we have seen, several good reasons for this failure. First, there are no precedents in history for feminist revolution—there have been women revolutionaries, certainly, but they have been used by male revolutionaries, who seldom gave even lip service to equality for women, let alone to a radical feminist re­structuring of society. Moreover, we haven’t even a liter­ary image of this future society; there is not even a utopian feminist literature in existence. Thirdly, the nature of the family unit is such that it penetrates the individual more deeply than any other social organization we have: it literally gets him “where he lives.” I have shown how the family shapes his psyche to its structure—until ul­timately, he imagines it absolute, talk of anything else striking him as perverted. Finally, most alternatives sug­gest a loss of even the little emotional warmth provided by the family, throwing him into a panic. The model that I shall now draw up is subject to the limitations of any plan laid out on paper by a solitary individual. Keep in mind that these are not meant as final answers, that in fact the reader could probably draw up another plan that would satisfy as well or better the four structural im­peratives laid out above. The following proposals, then, will be sketchy, meant to stimulate thinking in fresh areas. rather than to dictate the action.

♦ ‘ ♦ *

What is the alternative to 1984 if we could have our demands acted on in time? 4

The most important characteristic to be maintained in any revolution is flexibility: I will propose, then, a pro­gram of multiple options to exist simultaneously, interweav­ing with each other, some transitional, others far in the future. An individual may choose one “life style” for one decade, and prefer another at another period.

1) Single Professions. A single life organized around the demands of a chosen profession, satisfying the in­dividual’s social and emotional needs through its own particular occupational structure, might be an appealing solution for many individuals, especially in the transi­tional period.

Single professions have practically vanished, despite the fact that the encouragement of reproduction is no longer a valid social concern. The old single roles, such as the celibate religious life, court roles—jester, musician, page, knight, and loyal squire—cowboys, sailors, firemen, cross­country truck drivers, detectives, pilots had a prestige all their own: there was no stigma attached to being profes­sionally single. Unfortunately, these roles seldom were open to women. Most single female roles (such as spinster aunt, nun, or courtesan) were still defined by their sexual nature.

Many social scientists are now proposing as a solution to the population problem the encouragement of “deviant life styles” that by definition imply nonfertility. Richard Meier suggests that glamorous single professions previous­ly assigned only to men should now be opened to women as well, for example, “astronaut.” He notes that where these occupations exist for women, e. g., stewardess, they are based on the sex appeal of a young woman, and thus can be only limited way stations on the way to a better job or marriage. And, he adds, “so many limitations are imposed [on women’s work outside the home] . . . that one suspects the existence of a culture-wide conspiracy which makes the occupational role sufficiently unpleasant that 90 percent or more would choose homemaking as a superior alternative.” With the extension of whatever single roles still exist in our culture to include women, the creation of more such roles, and a program of incentives to make these professions rewarding, we could, painlessly, reduce the number of people interested in parenthood at all.

2) “Living Together.” Practiced at first only in Bo­hemian or intellectual circles and now increasingly in the population at large—especially by metropolitan youth— “living together” is becoming a common social practice. “Living together” is the loose social form in which two or more partners, of whatever sex, enter a nonlegal sex/com – panionate arrangement the duration of which varies with the internal dynamics of the relationship. Their contract is only with each other; society has no interest, since neither reproduction nor production—dependencies of one party on the other—is involved. This flexible non-form could be expanded to become the standard unit in which most people would live for most of their lives.

At first, in the transitional period, sexual relationships would probably be monogamous (single standard, female – style, this time around), even if the couple chose to live with others. We might even see the continuation of strict­ly nonsexual group living arrangements (“roommates”). However, after several generations of nonfamily living, our psychosexual structures may become altered so rad­ically that the monogamous couple, or the “aim-inhibited” relationship, would become obsolescent. We can only guess what might replace it—perhaps true “group mar­riages,” transexual group marriages which also involved older children? We don’t know.

The two options we have suggested so far—single pro­fessions and “living together”—dready exist, but only out­side the mainstream of our society, or for brief periods in the life of the normal individual. We want to broaden these options to include many more people for longer pe­riods of their lives, to transfer here instead all the cultural incentives now supporting marriage—making these alter­natives, finally, as common and acceptable as marriage is today.

But what about children? Doesn’t everyone want chil­dren sometime in their lives? There is no denying that people now feel a genuine desire to have children. But we don’t know how much of this is the product of an authen­tic liking for children, and how much is a displacement of other needs. We have seen that parental satisfaction is obtainable only through crippling the child: The attempted extension of ego through one’s children—in the case of the man, the “immortalizing” of name, property, class, and ethnic identification, and in the case of the woman, motherhood as the justification of her existence, the re­sulting attempt to live through the child, child-as-project —in the end damages or destroys either the child or the parent, or both when neither wins, as the case may be. Perhaps when we strip parenthood of these other functions, we will find a real instinct for parenthood even on the part of men, a simple physical desire to associate with the young. But then we have lost nothing, for a basic demand of our alternative system is some form of inti­mate interaction with children. If a parenthood instinct does in fact exist, it will be allowed to operate even more freely, having shed the practical burdens of parenthood that now make it such an anguished hell.

But what, on the other hand, if we find that there is no parenthood instinct after all? Perhaps all this time society has persuaded the individual to have children only by imposing on parenthood ego concerns that had no prop­er outlet. This may have been unavoidable in the past— but perhaps it’s now time to start more directly satisfying those ego needs. As long as natural reproduction is still necessary, we can devise less destructive cultural induce­ments. But it is likely that, once the ego investments in parenthood are removed, artificial reproduction wifi be developed and widely accepted.

3) Households. I shall now outline a system that I be­lieve will satisfy any remaining needs for children after ego concerns are no longer part of our motivations. Sup­pose a person or a couple at some point in their lives de­sire to live around children in a family-size unit. While we will no longer have reproduction as the life goal of the normal individual—we have seen how single and group nonreproductive life styles could be enlarged to be­come satisfactory for many people for their whole life­times and for others, for good portions of their lifetime— certain people may still prefer community-style group liv­ing permanently, and other people may want to experi­ence it at some time in their lives, especially during early childhood.

Thus at any given time a proportion of the population wifi want to live in reproductive social structures. Corre­spondingly, the society in general will still need reproduc­tion, though reduced, if only to create a new generation.

The proportion of the population will be automatically a select group with a predictably higher rate of stability, because they will have had a freedom of choice now generally unavailable. Today those who do not marry and have children by a certain age are penalized: they find themselves alone, excluded, and miserable, on the margins of a society in which everyone else is compart­mentalized into lifetime generational families, chauvinism and exclusiveness their chief characteristic. (Only in Man­hattan is single living even tolerable, and that can be debated.) Most people are still forced into marriage by family pressure, the “shotgun,” economic considerations, and other reasons that have nothing to do with choice of life style. In our new reproductive unit, however, with the limited contract (see below), childrearing so diffused as to be practically eliminated, economic considerations non­existent, and all participating members having entered only on the basis of personal preference, “unstable” re­productive social structures will have disappeared.

This unit I shall call a household rather than an ex­tended family. The distinction is important: The word family implies biological reproduction and some degree of division of labor by sex, and thus the traditional dependencies and resulting power relations, extended over generations; though the size of the family—in this case, the larger numbers of the “extended” family—may affect the strength of this hierarchy, it does not change its structural definition. “Household,” however, connotes only a large grouping of people living together for an unspeci­fied time, and with no specified set of interpersonal rela­tions. How would a “household” operate?

Limited Contract. If the household replaced marriage perhaps we would at first legalize it in the same way— if this is necessary at all. A group of ten or so consenting adults of varying ages[34] could apply for a license as a group in much the same way as a young couple today applies for a marriage license, perhaps even undergoing some form of ritual ceremony, and then might proceed in the same way to set up house; The household license would, however, apply only for a given period, perhaps seven to ten years, or whatever was decided on as the minimal time in which children needed a stable struc­ture in which to grow up—but probably a much shorter period than we now imagine. If at the end of this period the group decided to stay together, it could always get a renewal. However, no single individual would be con­tracted to stay after this period, and perhaps some mem­bers of the unit might transFer out, or new members come in. Or, the unit could disband altogether.

There are many advantages to short-term households, stable compositional units lasting for only about a dec­ade: the end of family chauvinism, built up over genera­tions, of prejudices passed down from one generation to the next, the inclusion of people of all ages in the child – rearing process, the integration of many age groups into one social unit, the breadth of personality that comes from exposure to many rather than to (the idiosyncrasies of) a few, and so on.

Children. A regulated percentage of each household— say one-third—would be children. But whether, at first, genetic children created by couples within the household, or at some future time—after a few generations of house­hold living had severed the special connection of adults with “their” children—children were produced artificially, or adopted, would not matter: (minimal) responsibility for the early physical dependence of ,children would be evenly diffused among all members of the household.

But though it would still be structurally sound, we must be aware that as long as we use natural childbirth methods, the “household” could never be a totally liberating social form. A mother who undergoes a nine-month pregnancy is likely to feel that the product of all that pain and dis­comfort “belongs” to her (“To think of what I went through to have you!”). But we want to destroy this pos­sessiveness along with its cultural reinforcements so that

no one child will be a priori favored over another, so that children will be loved for their own sake.

But what if there is an instinct for pregnancy? I doubt it. Once we have sloughed ofi cultural superstructures, we may uncover a sex instinct, the normal consequences of which lead to pregnancy. And perhaps there is also an in­stinct to care for the young once they arrive. But an in­stinct for pregnancy itself would be superfluous—could nature anticipate man’s mastery of reproduction? And what if* once the false motivations for pregnancy had been shed, women no longer wanted to “have” children at all? Might this not be a disaster, given that artificial reproduc­tion is not yet perfected? But women have no special re­productive obligation to the species. If they are no longer willing, then artificial methods will have to be developed hurriedly, or, at the very least, satisfactory compensations —other than destructive ego investments—would have to be supplied to make it worth their while.

Adults and older children would take care of babies for as long as they needed it, but since there would be many adults and older children sharing the responsibility —as in the extended family—no one person would ever be involuntarily stuck with it.

Adult/child relationships would develop just as do the best relationships today: some adults might prefer certain children over others, just as some children might prefer certain adults over others—these might become lifelong attachments in which the individuals concerned mutually agreed to stay together, perhaps to form some kind of non – reproductive unit. Thus all relationships would be based on love alone, uncorrupted by objective dependencies and the resulting class inequalities. Enduring relationships be­tween people of widely divergent ages would become common.

Legal Rights and Transfers. With the weakening and severance of the blood ties, the power hierarchy of the family would break down. The legal structure—as long as it is still necessary—would reflect this democracy at the roots of our society. Women would be identical under the law with men. Children would no longer be “minors,” under the patronage of “parents”—they would have fuU rights. Remaining physical inequalities could be legally compensated for: for example, if a child were beaten, perhaps he could report it to a special simplified “house­hold” court where he would be granted instant legal redress.

Another special right of children would be the right of immediate transfer: if the child for any reason did not like the household into which he had been born so arbi­trarily, he would be helped to transfer out. An adult on the other hand—one who had lived one span in a house­hold (seven to ten years)—might have to present his case to the court, which would then decide, as do divorce courts today, whether he had adequate ‘grounds for break­ing his contract. A certain number of transfers within the seven-year period might be necessary for the smooth func­tioning of the household, and would not be injurious to its stability as a unit so long as a core remained. (In fact, new people now and then might be a refreshing change.) However, the unit, for its own best economy, might have to place a ceiling on the number of transfers in or out, to avoid depletion, excessive growth, and/or friction.

Chores. As for housework: The larger family-sized group (twelve to fifteen people) would be more prac­tical—the waste and repetition of the duplicate nu­clear family unit would be avoided, e. g., as in shopping or cooking for a small family, without the loss of intimacy of the larger communal experiment. In the interim, any housework would have to be rotated equitably; but eventu­ally cybernation could automate out almost all domestic chores.

City Planning. City planning, architecture, furnishings, all would be altered to reflect the new social structure. The trend toward mass-produced housing would probably continue, but the housing might be designed and even built (perhaps out of prefabricated components) by the people living there to suit their own needs and tastes.

Privacy could be built in: either through private rooms in every household, or with “retreats” within the larger city to be shared by people of other households, or both. The whole might form a complex the size of a small town or a large campus.’ Perhaps campus is the clearer image: We could have small units of self-determined housing— prefabricated component parts set up or dismantled eas­ily and quickly to suit the needs of the limited contract— as well as central permanent buildings to fill the needs of the community as a whole, i. e., perhaps the equivalent of a “student union” for socializing, restaurants, a large computer bank, a modern communications center, a com­puterized library and film center, “learning centers” de­voted to various specialized interests, and whatever else might be necessary in a cybernetic community.

The Economy. The end of the family structure would necessitate simultaneous changes in the larger economy. Not only would reproduction be qualitatively different, so would production: just as we have had to purify relations with children of all external considerations we would first have to have, to be entirely successful in our goals, socialism within a cybernated state, aiming first to re­distribute drudgery equitably, and eventually to eliminate it altogether. With the further development and wise use of machines, people could be freed from toil, “work” divorced from wages and redefined: Now both adults and children could indulge in serious “play” as much as they wanted.

In the transition, as long as we still had a money econ­omy, people might receive a guaranteed annual income from the state to take care of basic physical needs. These incomes, distributed equitably to men, women, and chil­dren, regardless of age, work, prestige, birth, would in themselves equalize in one blow the economic class sys­tem.

Activity. What would people do in this utopia? I think that will not be a problem. If we truly had abol­ished all unpleasant work, people would have the time and the energy to develop healthy interests of their own.

What is now found only among the elite, the pursuit of specialized interests for their own sake, would probably become the norm.

Подпись: і і As for our educational institutions: The irrelevancy of the school system practically guarantees its break­down in the near future. Perhaps we could replace it with noncompulsory “learning centers,” which would combine both the minimally necessary functions of our lower educational institutions, the teaching of rudimentary skills, with those of the higher, the expansion of knowl­edge, including everyone of any age or level, children and adults.

Yes, but what about basic skills? How, for example, could a child with no formal sequential training enter an advanced curriculum’ like architecture? But traditional book learning, the memorizing of facts, which forms the most substantial portion of the curriculum of our elemen­tary schools, will be radically altered under the impact of cybernation—a qualitative difference, to the apparatus of culture at least as significant a change as was the print­ing press, even as important as the alphabet. McLuhan pointed out the beginning of a reversal from literary to visual means of absorbing knowledge. We can expect the escalation of this and other effects in the development of modern media for the rapid transmittal of information. And the amount of rote knowledge necessary either for children or adults will itself be vastly reduced, for we shall have computer banks within easy reach. After all, why store facts in one’s head when computer banks could supply quicker and broader information instantaneously? (Already today children wonder why they must learn multiplication tables rather than the operation of an add­ing machine.) Whatever mental storing of basic facts is still necessary can be quickly accomplished through new mechanical methods, teaching machines, records and tapes, and so on, which, when they become readily available, would allow the abolition of compulsory schooling for basic skills. Like foreign students in the pursuit of a specialized profession, the child can pick up any neces­
sary basic “language” on the side, through these supple­mentary machine methods. But it is more likely that the fundamental skills and knowledge necessary will be the same for adults as for children: skill in operating new machines. Programming skills may become, universally re­quired, but rather than through years of nine-to-five schooling, it would have to be learned (rapidly) only in conjunction with the requirements of a specific discipline.

As for “career indecision”: Those people today whose initial “hobby” has survived intact from childhood to be­come their adult “profession” will most often tell you they developed it before the age of nine.[35] As long as spe­cialized professions still existed, they could be changed as often as adults change majors or professions today. But if choice of profession had no superimposed motives, if they were based only on interest in the subject itself, switches in mid-course would probably be far fewer. In­ability to develop strong interests is today mostly the result of the corruption of culture and its institutions.

Thus our conception of work and education would be much closer to the medieval first-hand apprenticeship to a discipline, people of all ages participating at all levels. As in academia today, the internal dynamics of the various disciplines would foster their own social organization, pro­viding a means for meeting other people of like interests, and of sharing the intellectual and aesthetic pursuits now available only to a select few, the intelligentsia. The kind of social environment now found only in the best depart­ments of the best colleges might become the life style of the masses, freed to develop their potential from the start: Whereas now only the lucky or persevering ones ever ar­rive at (usually only professing to) “doing their thing,” then everyone would have the opportunity to develop to his full potential.

Or not develop if he so chose—but this seems unlikely, since every child at first exhibits curiosity about people,

things, the world in general and what makes it tick. It is only because unpleasant reality dampens his curiosity that the child learns to scale down his interests, thus becoming the average bland adult. But if we should remove these obstructions, then all people would develop as fully as only the greatest and wealthiest classes, and a few isolated “geniuses,” have been able to. Each individual would con­tribute to the society as a whole, not for wages or other incentives of prestige and power, but because the work he chose to do interested him in itself, and perhaps only incidentally because it had a social value for others (as healthily selfish as is only Art today). Work that had only social value and no personal value would have been eliminated by the machine.

* * *

Thus, in the larger context of a cybernetic socialism, the establishment of the household as the alternative to the family for reproduction of children, combined with every imaginable life style for those who chose to live singly or in nonreproductive units, would resolve all the basic dilemmas that now arise from the family to obstruct human happiness. Let us go over our four minimal de­mands to see how our imaginary construction would fare.

1) The freeing of women from the tyranny of their biology by any means available, and the diffusion of the childbearing and childrearing role to the society as a whole, to men and other children as well as women. This has been corrected. Childbearing could be taken over by technology, and if this proved too much against our past tradition and psychic structure (which it certainly would at first) then adequate incentives and compensations would have to be developed—other than the ego rewards of possessing the child—to reward women for their spe­cial social contribution of pregnancy and childbirth. Most of childrearing, as we have seen, has to do with the maintaining of power relations, forced internalization of family values, and many other ego concerns that war

with the happiness of the individual child. This repressive socialization process would now be unnecessary in a society in which the interests of the individual coincided with those of the larger society. Any childrearing responsibility left would be diffused to include men and other children equally with women. In addition, new methods of instant communication would lessen the child’s reliance on even this egalitarian primary unit.

2) The economic independence and self-determination of all. Under socialism, even if still a money economy, work would be divorced from wages, the ownership of the means of production in the hands of all the people, and wealth distributed on the basis of need, independent of the social value of the individual’s contribution to society. We would aim to eliminate the dependence of women and children on the labor of men, as well as all other types of labor exploitation. Each person could choose his life style at will, changing it to suit his tastes without seriously in­conveniencing anyone else; no one would be bound into any social structure against his will, for each person would be totally self-governing as soon as he was phys­ically able.

3) The total integration of women and children into the larger society. This has’ been fulfilled: The concept of childhood has been abolished, children having full legal, sexual, and economic rights, their educational/work ac­tivities no different from those of adults. During the few years of their infancy we have replaced the psychological­ly destructive genetic “parenthood” of one or two arbi­trary adults with a diffusion of the responsibility for physical welfare over a larger number of people. The child would still form intimate love relationships, but in­stead of developing close ties with a decreed “mother” and “father,” the child might now form those ties with people of his own choosing, of whatever age or sex. Thus all adult-child relationships will have been mutually chosen—equal, intimate relationships free of material de­pendencies. Correspondingly, though children would be fewer, they would not be monopolized, but would mingle freely throughout the society to the benefit of all, thus satisfying that legitimate desire to be around the young which is often called the reproductive “instinct.”

4) Sexual freedom, love, etc. So far we have not said much of love and sexual freedom because there is no reason for it to present a problem: there would be noth­ing obstructing it. With full liberty human relationships eventually would be redefined for the better. If a child does not know his own mother, or at least does not at­tach a special value to her over others, it is unlikely that he would choose her as his first love object, only to have to develop inhibitions on this love. It is possible that the child might form his first close physical relationships with people his own size out of sheer physical convenience, just as men and women, all else being equal, might prefer each other over those of the same sex for sheer physical fit. But if not, if he should choose to relate sexually to adults, even if he should happen to pick his own genetic mother, there would be no a priori reasons for her to reject his sexual advances, because the incest taboo would have lost its function. The “household,” a transient social form, would not be subject to the dangers of inbreeding.

Thus, without the incest taboo, adults might return within a few generations to a more natural polymor­phous sexuality, the concentration on genital sex and orgasmic pleasure giving way to total physical/emotional relationships that included that. Relations with children would include as much genital sex as the child was capable of—probably considerably more than we now believe—but because genital sex would no longer be the central focus of the relationship, lack of orgasm would not present a serious problem. Adult/child and homosexual sex taboos would disappear, as well as nonsexual friend­ship (Freud’s “aim-inhibited” love). All close relationships would include the physical, our concept of exclusive phys­ical partnerships (monogamy) disappearing from our psy­chic structure, as well as the construct of a Partner Ideal. But how long it would take for these changes to occur, and in what forms they would appear, remains conjee – ture. The specifics need not concern ns here. We need only set up the preconditions for a free sexuality: what­ever forms it took would be assuredly an improvement on what we have now, “natural” in the truest sense.

In the transitional phase, adult genital sex and the exclusiveness of couples within the household might have to be maintained in order for the unit to be able to func­tion smoothly, with a minimum of internal tension caused by sexual frictions. It is unrealistic to impose theories of what ought to be on a psyche already fundamentally or­ganized around specific emotional needs. And this is why individual attempts to eliminate sexual possessiveness are now always inauthentic. We would do much better to concentrate on overthrowing the social structures that have produced this psychical organization, allowing for the eventual—if not in our lifetime—fundamental restructur­ing (or should I say destructuring?) of our psychosexual­ity.

Above, I have drawn up only a very rough plan in order to make the general direction of a feminist revolu­tion more vivid: Production and reproduction of the spe­cies would both be, simultaneously, reorganized in a nonrepressive way. The birth of children to a unit which disbanded or recomposed as soon as children were phys­ically able to be independent, one that was meant to serve immediate needs rather than to pass on power and priv­ilege (the basis of patriarchy is the inheritance of property gained through labor) would eliminate the power psy­chology, sexual repression, and cultural sublimation. Family chauvinism, class privilege based on birth, would be eliminated. The blood tie of the mother to the child would eventually be severed—if male jealousy of “cre­ative” childbirth actually exists, we will soon have the means to create life independently of sex—so that preg­nancy, now freely acknowledged as clumsy, inefficient, and painful, would be indulged in, if at all, only as a tongue-in-cheek archaism, just as already women today wear virginal white to their weddings. A cybernetic social­ism would abolish economic classes, and all forms of labor exploitation, by granting all people a livelihood based only on material needs. Eventually drudge work (jobs) would be eliminated in favor of (complex) play, activity done for its own sake, by both adults and chil­dren. Love and sexuality would be reintegrated, flowing unimpeded.

The revolt against the biological family could bring on the first successful revolution, or what was thought of by the ancients as the Messianic Age. Humanity’s double curse when it ate the Apple of Knowledge (the growing knowledge of the laws of the environment creating re­pressive civilization), that man would toil by the sweat of his brow in order to live, and woman would bear children in pain and travail, can now be undone through man’s very efforts in toil. We now have the knowledge to create a paradise on earth anew. The alternative is our own sui­cide through that knowledge, the creation of a hell on earth, followed by oblivion.

[1] His correlation of the interdevelopment of these two systems in Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State on a time scale might read as in the following chart:

[2] For example, witches must be seen as women in independent political revolt: Within two centuries eight million women were burned at the stake by the Church—for religion was the politics of that period.


[3] Hereafter abbreviated W. R.M.

[4]R. P. Knight in “Evaluation of the Results of Psychoanalytic Therapy,” American Journal of Psychiatry, 1941, found that psychoanalysis was a failure with 56.7 percent of the patients he studied, and a success with only 43.3 percent. Thus psychoanalysis failed somewhat more often than it succeeded. In 1952 in a dif­ferent study Eysenck showed an improvement rate in patients who had received psychoanalysis of 44 percent; in patients who had received psychotherapy of 64 percent; and in those who had received no treatment at all an improvement rate of 72 percent Other studies (Barron and Leary, 1955; Bergin, 1963; Cartwright and Vogel, 1960; Truax, 1963; Powers and Witmer, 1951) con­firm these negative results.

[5] If I deal with the male child before the female that is because Freud—indeed our whole culture—deals with the male child first. Even in order to properly criticize Freud we shall have to follow the priorities he has set up in his own work. Also, as Freud him­self saw, the Oedipus Complex had much greater cultural signifi­cance than the Electra; I too shall attempt to show that indeed it is more psychologically damaging, if only because in a male – dominated culture the damage done to the male psyche has vaster consequences.

[6] The misery of the goddess has been portrayed admirably in Satyajit Ray’s film Devi.

[7] This is carried to extremes in contemporary public schools where perfectly ready children are turned away for a whole year because their birthdays fall a few days short of an arbitrary date.

[8] See Ari£s, op. cit., Chapter V, “From Immodesty to Innocence,” for a detailed description of this exposure, based on the sexual experiences of the Dauphin as recorded in the Heroard Journal.

[9] Gangs are the only modem children’s groups that are self – directed: The term gang has an ominous sound for good political reasons.

[10] In 1969, white men who worked full-time the year around earned a median income of $6,497; black men, $4,285; white women, $3,859; and black women, $2,674.

But in only a few radical circles affected by the Women’s Liberation Movement, has even the black woman been acknowl­edged to be at the bottom economically.

[11] An interesting illustration of their common and interchangeable political function is the psychological substitution of the racial caste distinction for the sexual caste distinction, e. g., a black lesbian often automatically assumes the male role in a black – white lesbian relationship.

[12] Here, and throughout the chapter, I am assuming the position of the Black Panther Party as representative of Black Power, though I am well aware that the BPP has violent disputes with other Black Power groups over many things. –

[13] Thus the peculiar situation that women never object to the insulting of women as a class, as long as they individually are excepted. The worst insult for a woman is that she is “just like a woman,” i. e., no better; the highest compliment that she has the brains, talent, dignity, or strength of a man. In fact, like every member of an oppressed class, she herself participates in the insult­ing of others like herself, hoping thereby to make it obvious that she as an individual is above their behavior. Thus women as a class are set against each other [“Divide and Conquer"], the “other woman” believing that the wife is a “bitch” who “doesn’t understand him.4 and the wife believing that the other woman is an “opportunist” who is “taking advantage” of him—while the culprit himself sneaks away free.

continuously proving himself through sexual conquest; but all be may have really wanted was the excuse to indulge in affection without the loss of manly self-respect. That men are more re­strained than are women about exhibiting emotion is because, in addition to the results of the Oedipus Complex, to express tender­ness to a woman is to acknowledge her equality. Unless, of course, one tempers one’s tenderness—takes it back—with some evidence of domination.

[15] Homosexuals are so ridiculed because in viewing the male as sex object they go doubly against the norm: even women don’t read Pretty Boy magazines.

[16] “As for his other sports,” says a recent blurb about football hero Joe Namath, “he prefers Blondes.” <

[17] Female inability to focus on sexual imagery has been found to be a major cause of female frigidity. Masters and Johnson, Albert Ellis, and others have stressed the importance of “sexual focusing” in teaching fricid women to achieve orgasm. Hilda O’Hare in International Journal of Sexology correctly attributes this problem to the absence in our society of a female counterpart for the count less stimulants of the male sexual urge.

[18] However, women’s presence in the arts and humanities is still viciously fought by the few males remaining, in proportion to the

insecurity of their own position—particularly precarious in tradi­tional, humanist schools, such as figurative painting.

[19] I was struck by this at a recent Women’s Liberation workshop scheduled by the science department of a top-level eastern uni­versity: of the fifty women present, only one or two were engaged in research, let alone high-level research. The others were lab technicians, graduate assistants, high school science teachers, faculty wives, and the like.

[20] The idealistic mode, corresponding roughly to the supra historical, nonmaterialist “metaphysical” mode of thought against which Marx and Engels revolted.

[21] One abstract painter I knew, who had experienced the horrors of North African battlefields in World War П—fields of men (bud­dies) rotting in the sun with rats darting out of their stomachs— spent years moving a pure beige circle around a pure beige square. In this manner, the “modern” artist denies the ugliness of reality (rats in the stomachs of buddies) in favor of artificial harmonies (circles in squares).

[22] Revolutionaries, by definition, are still visionaries of the Aesthetic Mode, the idealists of pragmatic politics.

[23] I must ask the reader to forgive me here—this chapter was written before the “Pill Hearings,” indeed, before the mushrooming of the ecology movement’itself. Such is the speed of modern com­munications—a book is outdated before it even makes it into galleys.

[24] Most bosses would fail badly had they to take over their secre­taries’ job, or do without them. I know several secretaries who sign without a thought their bosses’ names to their own (often brilliant) solutions. The skills of college women especially would cost a fortune reckoned in material terms of male labor, t Margaret Benston (“The Political Economy of Women’s Liber­ation,” Monthly Review, September 1969), in attempting to show that women’s oppression is indeed economic—though previous economic analysis has been incorrect—distinguishes between the male superstructure economy based on commodity production (capitalist ownership of the means of production, and wage labor), and the pre-industrial reduplicative’ economy of the family, pro­duction for immediate use. Because the latter is not part of the official contemporary economy, its function at the basis of that’ economy is often overlooked. Talk of drafting women into the superstructure commodity economy fails to deal with the tremen­dous amount of necessary production of the traditional kind now performed by women without pay: Who will do it?

[25] The Chase Manhattan Bank estimates a woman’s over-all do­mestic work week at 99.6 hours. Margaret Benston gives her minimal estimate for a childless married woman at 16 hours, close to half of a regular work week; a mother must spend at least six or seven days a week working close to 12 hours.

[26] Though it is true that children in orphanages do not get even the warmth and attention that parents give a child, with crippling results-—tests have shown IQ’s of children in institutions to be lower, emotional maladjustment higher, and even, as in the famous experiment with monkeys deprived of motherly care, sexual func­tioning to be crippled or destroyed—those who quote these statistics so triumphantly to discredit radical alternatives do not recog – size that the orphanage is the antithesis of a radical alternative, that in fact it is ал outgrowth of what we are trying to correct.

The orphanage is the underside of the family, just as prostitution is the direct result of the institution of patriarchal marriage. In the same sense as prostitution complements marriage, the orphan­age is the necessary complementary evil of a society in which the majority of children live under a system of patronage by genetic parents. In the one case, because women exist under patronage, unclaimed women pay a special price; in the other, because children are possessions of specific individuals rather than free members of the society, unclaimed children suffer.

Orphans are those unfortunate children who have no parents at all in a society that dictates that all children must have parents to survive. When all adults are monopolized by their genetic children, there is no one left to care about the unclaimed. However, if no one had exclusive relationships with children, then everyone would be free for alt children. The natural interest in children would be diffused over all children rather than narrowly concentrated on one’s own.

The evils of this orphanage system, the barracks-like existence, the impersonality, the anonymity, arise because these institutions are dumping grounds for the rejected in an exclusive family system; whereas we want to spread family emotions over the whole society. Thus child institutions and their consequences are at the furthest remove from revolutionary alternatives because they violate almost all of our essential postulates: the integration of children into the total society, and the granting of full economic and sexual freedoms.

[27] In my short stay, I observed the following: One American friend of mine, though a registered nurse, could not, despite end­less hassle, land a job in the infirmary—because all women were needed in the kitchen; A job in the sandal shop was given to an untrained boy, over a girl skilled in leatherwork.

[28] On one kibbutz I met a seventeen-year-old who had built his own small artist shack, where he went with his friends to paint regularly. This was done, typically, entirely as his own project t Neill says of himself: “Although I write and say what I think of society, if I tried to reform society by action, society would kill me as a public danger. . . . II realize] that my primary job is not the reformation of society, but the bringing of happiness to some few children.”

[29] Neill comments on the recurrence of sex role divisions with a bit of bafflement, but with general acceptance. Indeed, he and his wife Ena act as benevolent role models, though perhaps for a rather large family. Here is Neill on the subject:

On a good day you may not see the boy gangsters [?] of Summerhill. They are in far comers intent on their deeds of derring-do. But you will see the girls. They are in or near the house, and never far away from the grown-ups.

You will often find the Art Room full of girls painting and making things with fabrics. In the main, however, I think that the small boys are more creative; at least I never hear a boy say he is bored because he doesn’t know what to do, whereas I sometimes hear girls say that.

Possibly I find the boys more creative than the girls be­cause the school may be better equipped for boys than for girls. Girls of ten or over have little use for a workshop with iron and wood. . .. They have their art work, which includes pottery, cutting linoleum blocks and painting, and sewing work, but for some that is not enough. …

The girls take a less active part in school meetings than the boys do, and I have no ready explanation for this fact (Italics mine)

[30] If the isolated Summerhill school experiment works to a limited degree, the Summerhill “home” fails resoundingly. There is nothing as sad as the spectacle of parents trying to initiate their own private version of Summerhill into their family life, never realizing the deep contradiction between the nuclear family and true child freedom. I have been in homes in which mothers were ■reduced to begging children to stop hitting guests (me)—they didn’t dare use 1 he power that the chiM. .it ic’>st. knows is there and, in fact, is provoking; there are other families where children are dragged off to family councils periodically; and so on. But nevertheless, despite all these progressive measures, children in­stinctively know-—and act on this knowledge—that any real decisions will be based on practical realities that the parents control.

[31] Reich discusses the Russian inability to handle the first signs of a free child sexuality: Child sex was interpreted in Puritan terms as the sign of moral breakdown, rather than as the first stage of the reversion to a natural sexuality.

[32] Ninety-five percent of all American women still marry and 90 percent bear children, most often more than two. Families with children in the medium range (two to four) are as predominant as ever, no longer attributable to the postwar baby boom.

[33] But what does this dichotomy of good/bad really mean? Perhaps after all, it is only a euphemistic class distinction: sensitive and educated, as opposed to uneducated, underprivileged, harassed, and therefore indifferent. But ev€n though a child born to educated or upper-class parents is luckier in every respect, and is apt to receive a fair number of privileges by virtue of his class, name, and the property he is due to inherit, the distribution of children is equal among all classes—if indeed children born to the unfortunate do not outnumber the others—in this way reproducing in identical proportion the original inequality.

[34] An added advantage of the household is that it allows older people past their fertile years to share fully in parenthood when they so desire.

[35] If children today were given a realistic idea of the professions available—not just fireman/nurse—they might arrive at a special interest even sooner.